II Timothy 1:2-5
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
We are considering our legacy:
- …that which we pass on to those whom we influence
- …that which we inherit from influencial people in our lives.
It is the second meaning of our legacy that I want to examine in this Gem. And the appropriate Scripture is II Timothy 1:2 through 5:
I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.
The apostle Paul was writing to Timothy in this second letter written not too long before Paul died. Tradition has it that Paul was condemned by Emperor Nero, and beheaded in Rome around the year 67 AD.
Who was Timothy?
- In I Timothy 1:2 Paul identifies this young man as “…my son in the faith….” This means that Paul had led Timothy to faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord!
- In Acts 16:1 through 3 we learn that Paul, on his second missionary trip, was ministering in Asia Minor.
Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there named Timothy, the son of a certain woman who believed, but his father was Greek. He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted to have him go on with him [on this second missionary journey] and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region. For they all knew that his father was Greek.
- Young Timothy became a disciple of Paul, and assisted the apostle in his future missionary endeavors.
- Timothy is mentioned by name in Acts and the epistles a total of twenty-eight times!
✞ Six times in the book of Acts. ✞ Once in Romans. ✞ Twice in I Corinthians. ✞ Twice in II Corinthians. ✞ Twice in Philippians. ✞ Once in Colossians. ✞ Three times in I Thessalonians. ✞ Once in II Thessalonians. ✞ Three times in I Timothy. ✞ Once in II Timothy. ✞ Once in Philemon. ✞ Once in Hebrews. ✞ Four times in the epistle annotations (these are not considered Scripture but were added later as explanatory notes). ➔ Once at the end of I Corinthians 16:24. ➔ Once at the end of I Timothy 6:21. ➔ Once at the end of II Timothy 4:22 ➔ Once at the end of Hebrews 13:25.
- In I Timothy 1:3 and 4, Paul wrote the following to his young disciple (I Timothy 4:12 alludes to his youth):
As I urged you when I went into Macedonia — remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables and end- less genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. According to tradition, Paul ordained Timothy Bishop of Ephesus in AD 65, where he served for 15 years. In AD 80 [some traditons say AD 97], Timothy tried to halt a pagan procession of idols, ceremonies, and songs. In response to his preaching of the Gospel, the angry pagans beat him, dragged him through the streets, and stoned him to death. (https://religion.fandom.com/wiki/Apostle _Timothy).
- Timothy is thought to have a timid and shy personality:
✞ This characteristic is based on what Paul reminded his disciple of in II Timothy 1:7, “...God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” ✞ Paul also wrote to the church in Corinth, and in I Corinthians 16:10 and 11, he prepared them for Timothy’s visit, possibly in light of his intro- verted personality: Now if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do. Therefore let no one des- pise him. But send him on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I am waiting for him with the brethren.
- According to I Timothy 5:23 the young disciple apparently was prone to sickness. He had trouble especially with his digestive system. So Paul advised him, “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.”
The summation of all this is that Timothy was a man who was greatly used by God, even though he was an introvert with some health issues. He had been led to Jesus and instructed by Paul, then with much hands-on experience the apostle further taught him concerning the Lord’s work.
But let’s look at Timothy’s legacy, what he inherited, and then what he passed on to others!
- Paul said in II Timothy I Timothy 1:5, “I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois….” Apparently, Grandmother Lois was a strong influence in her grandson’s life! She was leaving him a great legacy!
- He went on in that same verse, “I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt…in your…mother Eunice….” Mom, most likely Lois’ daughter, received her mother’s legacy, and passed it on to her son!
- And, by the way, Paul, and others, also poured a marvelous and godly legacy into Timothy!
- In turn, Timothy’s life and ministry has been a positive legacy left to a multitude of Christians over the centuries!
Timothy inherited quite a legacy!
And he left quite a legacy for others,
even for us today!
In last Tuesday’s Gem, What Is Your Legacy? – III, the featured Scripture was Exodus 20:3 through 6. It tells us:
“Never have any other god. Never make your own carved idols or statues that represent any creature in the sky, on the earth, or in the water. Never worship them or serve them, because...”
- “…I, the LORD your God, am a God who does not tolerate rivals. I punish children for their parents’ sins to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me.”
This is the negative legacy that can be left for future generations!
- “But I show mercy to thousands of generations of those who love me and obey my commandments.”
This is the positive legacy (and MUCH longer lasting) – the one that Lois and Eunice left for Timothy, and the legacy he left for those coming after him!
Even though I received a negative legacy from my father (see the last Gem), by God’s grace I am doing my best to leave a positive legacy for my progeny!
What are you leaving for your legacy?